Question of the Day

Should God be given our best or the best?

Suppose there’s a little country church where not a single member can carry a tune. Should they skip singing?

And suppose there isn’t a person in the church who can do a decent job studying the Word and bringing it forth. Should they skip preaching?

Should the church just disband and join a mega-church which can afford to hire talented musicians and preachers?

(Before anyone says this: Of course I know there’s a great difference between singing at your local church and on the mainstage at NQC. NQC is a showcase for the absolute best in Gospel music. But my original question still stands.)

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16 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. THE best is entirely subjective. What one person thinks is THE best, another could view as garbage. The goal is for an individual to give God THEIR best to THEIR ability.

  2. Also, consider this….who said that a mega-church is necessarily THE best? A mega-church can bring with it all kinds of financial struggles, drama, separation within the congregation….

  3. Being on both the recording and performance side of this, it is a very hard call to make. I believe that many of today’s regional artists/churches just do what will get them by. I know first hand from a take in the studio that many groups will think “this is the best we have ever done this song” and with a little guidance and encouragement…..several takes later it turns out to be something they never imagined. A lot of people do not know what is possible, and with the knowledge they have they may indeed be doing their best (which I feel is required). However, it is up to us who know better to educate them and help them improve what they are doing for God while improving the Christian experience.

  4. OUR best is pleasing to God….read Mark 12:41-44

  5. Definitly OUR best. How can you do any better than your best?? Your best might not be as good as someone else’s—but it’s YOUR BEST.

  6. I happen to attend a church where most people can’t carry a tune…
    I think it is OUR best.
    Who, besides God, is to define what is THE best?
    These “mega-churches” are sometimes nothing but a way to get money.

  7. As a friend of mine likes to quote, “Let everything hath breath make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” (I hope that’s nearly verbatim.)

    She even reacted with that when she listened to the “O Holy Night” that Matt Paasch has given us all. But I think she gave up on it by the time she got to the end … 😆

  8. OK, now I’m thinking it’s “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord” and “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord” … I was combining the two.

  9. I feel that God wants our best, whatever that is. If our heart is pure and our intentions are good, he will inhabit the worship and praise of His people.

    Now, from a music/teaching, etc. standpoint, in a church setting, if any of these areas are severely lacking, I do not think it’s good either. Although I still say if that is the best the can offer up to God, they should keep doing it.

    However, I believe that it is vitally important not to have anything in our churches that distract people during their worship time and take the focus off of the Lord. So while it doesn’t have to be perfection, it needs to be decent as to not distract as well.

  10. You hear all kinds …

    I’ve heard an older woman who always pitched her music too high and couldn’t even stay on the tune, but God almost always blessed her singing.

    I’ve heard people who could sing perfectly and really “wow” you with their abilities, who never moved people’s hearts.

    I’ve heard people who couldn’t sing get up and wobble around and not move anyone’s heart. 🙂

    And I know some people who have a tremendous talent for singing, and I’m at attention as soon as their name is announced, and they deliver the song wonderfully and bless us all in the process. Of course that is my favorite.

    But my conclusion is still that it depends mostly on the attitude of the heart in the person singing. Yeah, there are a few people who are best off delivering their blessings through testimonies, in prose. But if God will bless it, then I’ll listen!

  11. And in a church of 500 or under, there is usually more of a sense of family. My church has a congregation of about 230, and none of the members who attend AM, PM, and Wednesday services are excluded. The only reason why the non-regulars are excluded is because they don’t try to socialize and get to know their church family. Then they end up leaving. They are the last t show up (usually right when the song leader is saying goood morning) and the first to go (when the invitation starts).

  12. Also, usually in a big church, those who can only make a “joyful noise” aren’t allowed to do any special music or sing in the choir. This even happens in the strongest churches.

  13. Yes, bad preaching a more serious matter to God than a lesser quality of singing.
    I grew up in a small church with the good and bad of a small church.
    I’m thankful and blessed for it and I believe I’m all the better for it.
    Christian love has a place in church but should not be used a an excuse to escape responsibility in a ministry unto the Lord.
    Life in general for a believer in Christ should make their own decisions about building up their relationship with Christ.

  14. I have to admit I have been on the receiving end of both bad singing and bad preaching. At some point in my ministry I could have been on the presenting end of that also. I feel the point to remember is to know your calling and to continually work to be the best you can be. I have never met anyone yet that began any type of ministry and was great at it needing no improvement. However with that being said, there are some that would like to sing but just are not gifted with that talent. If you are tone deaf please step away from the microphone.

  15. It’s “our best.”

    That being said, there are many, many churches that could carry out the Great Commission more effectively if they combined their resources with another church. If those churches were merged, the talents of many could accomplish more work for the kingdom of God.

    That doesn’t mean the Mega-church model is the be all, end all goal. Any time I’ve been around people who attend churches with several thousand members, they’ve seemed to talk a great deal about how wonderful it is to be in the “best” church, sitting under the “best” pastor, etc. I’m happy for their success in bringing in large numbers, but I’m turned off when they demean other congregations and pastors who are giving their best in the field where God has placed them.

    Now, the problem happens when WE are content with giving “our best.” Preachers should study the scripture, and sit at the feet of more experienced preachers to further shape their understanding of the scripture. Singers and musicians should hone their talents.

    Too often, giving “our best” is an excuse for singing poorly or not presenting a solid sermon to a congregation.

  16. Anyone remember the song “Antioch Church Choir” by Dixie Melody Boys? Uncle Jesse is now singing in a heavenly choir even though he couldn’t carry a tune down here.